Sunday, 16 October 2016

Photo 'Nightshoot'

Timeline Events (TLE) were contracted by the Museum to run a photography and enthusiasts 'Nightshoot' on Friday the 14th October. Similar events are becoming very popular with classic aircraft, historic railways and historic transport in general.

XL231 was in the line-up for the photo shoot as well as the Museum's Nimrod (XV250) and Blackburn Buccaneer (XX901). Re-enactors were also used to bring some of the photographs to life.

Various different types of coloured lighting were used, along with smoke generators and the effects were impressive.

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Instrument Servicing

I noticed a while back that the Captain's Artificial Horizon was sticking during power-up and the horizon bar was not oscillating as it should do. This is part of the Smiths 'Military Flight System' or Mystery Flight System by its RAF  nickname! It comprises of two artificial horizons, 2 vertical gyro's, 2 beam compasses, 2 azimuth gyro's and 2 compass amplifier units. 2 linked separate systems for the Captain and Co-pilot and this is also integrated with the Navigation Bombing System (NBS) and also the Instrument Landing System (ILS).

We changed and swapped the vertical gyro's and other spare components around that control the horizon's and the effect was the same. So, I concluded it was the instrument that was at fault. Because roll and pitch only happens in flight it became clear that the flight instruments, particularly the artificial horizon's would slowly seize up with ground use only.

I removed the instrument from the panel and dismantled the casing to find the mechanism's to be very stiff. With a good clean they freed up nicely and the instrument is ready to be refitted.

As far as I know this is the ONLY totally working MFS system fitted in any of the surviving working V Bombers so, it is historically important to keep it working. Luckily we have a number of spare components. But, we are always on the look out for further spare parts.We are fortunate to have the correct MFS test set that plugs into the aircraft and we have run the correct checks a number of times.

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

XL231 Nose undercarriage change 1991

Every now and again something happens to fill some blanks in the history of XL231 'Lusty Lindy'

In 1991 Joe Ford was lucky to take a trip in a Victor, it was XL164 'Saucy Sal'. Another post will cover the full story later . But, it was only by a chance visit to Elvington and later conversation that the below became apparent.

Joe took a picture of XL231 on the pan at RAF Marham on the day of his Victor sortie, July 19th 1991. She was clearly undergoing maintenance at the time, It looked to me like the nose leg was removed as she was clearly on main and tail jacks.

I pulled the history of XL231 out of my archive and found the Maintenance Work Order and also the Log card for the leg itself. overhauled in 1988 at RAF St Athan after removal from XL158. Uninteresting to some but, a story to a snap shot of XL231 in RAF service with 55 Squadron just after Operation Granby, The Gulf War. In fact XL231 was to return to Bahrain to continue service in the Gulf  and UK with the remaining Victor fleet until September of 1993 when the Victor's returned to participate in the UK NATO Exercise 'Elder Joust'.  The Squadron disbanded on the 15th October.

                                                     Thanks for the below picture Joe.

Sunday, 11 September 2016

Marie Curie Morris Minor's & XL231

This week saw the Morris Minor's Marie Curie Car Marathon stop off at the Museum, as part of their cancer charity fund raising road run. They chose the Victor as the backdrop for their on-site pictures.

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Fuel Flowmeters

A very satisfying result from quite a bit of perseverance resulted in a totally serviceable fuel flowmeter in XL231. The original proved unreliable, sometimes showing odd flow rates. The rate is calculated via 'windmill' transmitters in the fuel line of each engine supply circuit and then calculated and totaled.

Ken Sanderson; aka 'Radio Ken' and his colleague Terry took 3 Fuel Flowmeter computers including XL231's original and made one good one out of the 3. They tested each radio valve and ensured only the good one's were installed in the best unit. Their time and effort has paid off as each one showed the fuel flow rate at engine idle on last Sunday's 'Thunder Day' at the Museum and the totaled amount is also correct on the totaliser gauge next to the flowmeter controller. This was also recently replaced. None of this is required for what we do with XL231 but, we like to keep her as correctly working as she was in RAF service and for historical purposes.

Engines 1,2,3,4 all individually pictured.

Well done Ken and Terry!

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Servicing August 2016

Servicing work on XL231 continues. Sticking gauges, caused by a lack of use are a bit of an irritation and occasionally some of them have to be removed for servicing. The recent one's are the engine oil pressure gauges for No's 1 and No's 2 engines. These are sticking above zero in an un-powered condition and should fall below zero without power so, they have been removed for the internal mechanisms cleaning. A simple enough job to do but one that has to be done carefully. In addition the No2 engine  Kilowatt power meter from the AEO's main panel has been removed due to the glass being loose and jamming the needle. All three gauges have been replaced with serviceable spare units in the meantime.

Thursday, 28 July 2016

New Bungs for Lindy!

As time goes on, age and the weather take their toll, especially on the softer items such as weather protection.

One such item we have run out of are some of the 'bungs and blanks', all very necessary to keep the weather, insects and birds out. The bungs simply rot away over time and in some 20+ years the stock of them has been gradually used up.

It was decided that some new one's had to be made as prototypes so, after a sheet of the correct material was kindly donated by Gary Hancock, YAM employee and former Bae Apprentice it was decided that Danielle would have a go at making some.

The end result is pretty good for a first attempt and these are for the Powered Flying Control Air Intakes in the leading edges of the wings.

Any bungs or blanks from any aircraft type can be modified to fit so, anyone with such items lying around please let me know!

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Preparation for 7th August 'Thunder Day'

Its been a while since anything was posted on the blog. But, rest assured work has continued on XL231 as usual. Every Sunday and other days.

The Museum's final 'Thunder Day' for this year will be on the 7th August. ALL activities and engine runs  will be on the Museum site. There will be NO taxi runs for this event.

One item of necessity is fire detection so, regular checks are carried out on XL231's engine detection and other zones of the aircraft. Pictured are the individual engine fire warnings during test and the 'attention getter' that was fitted as a modification to ensure the Captain saw any fire warning as it occurred. To operate the relevant fire extinguisher the illuminated button is pressed.


Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Gulf War Victor pilot reunited with XL231

A surprise visit on Sunday the 24th April brought another ex-Victor K2 pilot Flt Lt Dave Attwood along for a look at XL231.  He didn't seem to be disappointed by what he saw and we thoroughly enjoyed showing the Victor to him once again.

Dave flew Victor's for a considerable time, including Gulf War 1 (Operation Granby) and was on No55 Squadron until the end of Victor operations in October 1993. He delivered XL161 to RAF Lyneham as one of his last duties for fire training purposes and in order to complete 2000 hours on the Victor K2 took some 2+hours to transit from RAF Marham in Norfolk, to RAF Lyneham in Wiltshire!

Dave Attwood in the Captain's seat during a TV interview in 1993

In the Captain's seat again 23 years later!

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

First Full Engine Runs of 2016

The 3rd April was The Yorkshire Air Museum's 'Thunder Day' with myself not only running my own XL231 along with the teams support but, also being the 'responsible person' in charge of the event.

The event, despite being static engine runs only was extremely successful on visitor attendance and the Bae Nimrod MR2, Douglas DC-3, DeHavilland Devon and Se5 aircraft were also all run successfully.
                     Port engines at high power

The next planned event is on the 7th May. The Victor and Nimrod will be taxied on the airfield parking apron which is 52 acres (yes 52) of concrete! and the Douglas DC-3 will be on the runway for its first high power taxi tests with a current DC-3 pilot at the controls, with myself in the co-pilot's seat.

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Compass change for Lindy!

The Smiths Military Flight System (MFS)  Beam compass for the co-pilot's position failed several years ago and as it is 'type specific' for the Victor K2. I found it impossible to locate the correct one.and so I had to replace it with a Vulcan B2 version which is a Type B. The Victor is modified up to Type C. They are externally identical to each other but with some differing operations . I was lucky to be able to finally locate a correct and unused Type C at Newark Aerojumble and so team member Tom Winter (ex-55 Squadron INSTIE) changed it last Sunday and it is fully serviceable and the system fully working.

Monday, 4 January 2016

A new Basket for Lindy!

In December I asked a question to a friend at Cobham Aviation, formerly Flight Refueling Ltd about the possible chances of replacing some of the Air to Air Refueling kit fitted to the Victor, if anything suitable was available.

Luckily, I was offered a serviceable Mk17B Hose Drum Unit basket which is actually a Victor one and which we soon eagerly went to collect from Cobham Aviation!

This will soon be replacing the one currently installed in the bombay in XL231. In the main due to the fact that during service some of the basket spokes were bent during a bad contact with a receiver aircraft. The damage is commonly known as being 'spoked'.

Saturday, 2 January 2016

Auxiliary Power Unit fuel valve

Artouste Auxiliary Power Unit fuel solenoid valve

After numerous unexpected shutdowns of the APU over recent years it was deduced that the valve which controls the fuel supply for starting and running the APU was sticking. Several attempts at repairing the valve have met with limited success so I decided to look at replacing the valve as a 'New Years Resolution!'.  Obviously, with 1960's era equipment its difficult to locate a replacement so, I decided to go for a modern equivalent. A commercially available valve used in domestic fuel oil heating systems! In fact some fuel oil is reclaimed jet fuel.  A couple of replacement adaptors were required because the original valve had male threaded adaptors and the new valve had female threads and this required a bit of homework. Anyway the end result is ready to fit back in for testing and wirelocking in place.

New valve fitted and the old valve shown for comparison